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Old 03-22-2014, 07:00 PM   #1
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Do you turn down heat at night and when you're away...

My friend got a new furnace installed at her house and they were going to install a digital thermostat. She told them she wanted a programmable thermostat, so that she could set it so the temperature would automatically lower at night and when she was at work.

The technician said raising and lowering the temp like that really didn't save on the heating bill. He said their motto was "set it and forget it".

I've seen articles on conserving energy and they advise that you should lower the temp at night and periods when you are away from the house!!! Now I'm really confused, so help me out here, to understand what is right!

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Old 03-22-2014, 07:04 PM   #2
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I do not change it.
Set at 70 year around unless we will be gone for an extended amount of

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Old 03-22-2014, 07:08 PM   #3
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You can do a setback temperature when your at work or sleeping but anything over 6 degrees is a waste. You will use more energy getting back to normal temp then you saved by turning it down. This is what we recommend
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:21 PM   #4
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I've mentioned before that ex H and I owned an A/C dealership for 20 years.

We told our customers this:

When you turn the A/C *up* while away, remember that all carpet, sofas, chairs, curtains and even the walls hold that heat. When you come home and turn the A/C back to your preferred setting your A/C then has to run for hours until all that heat has leeched out of the curtains, carpet, etc. You save nothing on electricity.

The same goes for the furnace and cold stored in home furnishings.

Those articles advising that you "conserve energy" by adjusting stats while away were probably written by electrical/gas companies.

Test it one day this summer. Turn your stat up to around 80* and back to 72* when you come home, then pay attention to how long that A/C runs without cutting off.

In the spring when temps vary so widely here between night/early morning and mid day/afternoon we'll set our heat/cool stat 4* apart....automatic change over.

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Old 03-22-2014, 07:26 PM   #5
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A lot of it is all how your system is sized for the house. If it's not done properly then yes it will run for hours. But a system that is sized properly and is running normal with no system issues will handle the setback temp just fine.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:11 PM   #6
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Why would the gas and electric company lie to us, is it a communist conspiracy? Really?

It is well known that if you dial down the temp for a few hours or more that the savings will out weigh the cost. Think about it. It takes more to keep something at a high(or low) than it does to return it there. It's simple thermodynamics.

But some believe that ice cubes freeze faster with warm water, and they DO in old frosted freezers when the warm water melted the the frost on the coils.

Generally, furnaces are more efficient when running then when cycling on and off.

Just saying.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:47 PM   #7
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I would have to agree with post 3 and 4.

We have a 3 year old house that was completely spray foamed. And we have a total electric house (so no gas) but we do have heat pump units.
We keep our thermostats set at 74 in the winter and 78-79 in the summer, at all times. Works for us since I work in a heated shop, but no ac. The warmer temps in the summer help me stay acclimated better. & We have VERY low electric bills considering the size of our house.
A few years ago in our old house, we lost electric for almost a week durring an ice storm in december. When power finally came on, our heater ran for almost 24 hours straight. Of course it would kick on and run then reach temp and kick off. But within a couple minutes (literally) it was back on. Everything was still so cold, the floor and walls- everything, you couldn't hardly stand on the floor and you couldn't hardly get warm yourself.

I've always heard the same thing about keeping things constant- uses less electric. Makes sence to me, inertia works kinda like it, and they say driving a constant speed saves over stop and go driving. Sound like simple physics ? Maybe?

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Old 03-22-2014, 10:20 PM   #8
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I manage our school districts HVAC system, 56 heat pumps and 12 more roof top heat pumps with multiple compressors. Have proven the savings to leave temps alone at all rooms with exterior walls. Interior rooms I allow to drop or rise 5 degrees. At home, we're all electric in our 106 year old 2600sq ft home. Winter temp of 70 & 72 in the summer. Leave it alone and my utility usage dropped 20% compared to when we adjusted nightly and when we're out of the house. The only time I've found to save energy is when we are gone more than 48 hours.

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Old 03-22-2014, 10:26 PM   #9
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Our house is all electric & old heat pumps. We set it & forget it. Keep it warm in the summer & cool in the works for us. DW doesn't mind the cool that's what blankets are for..........
We do the same camping as well.............


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Old 03-22-2014, 10:33 PM   #10
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Just remember to change the batteries in those digital thermostates.
I'm in the process of repairing flood damage from a frozen pipe. Batteries died in thermostate and it didn't turn heat on.

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